OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The United States Strategic Command has issued a stark and terrifying warning about what could be on the horizon.
Before the agency spoke to Congress on Tuesday it said that the United States must be prepared for nuclear war.
“The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option,” it said in a tweet.
“For the first time in our history, the nation is facing two nuclear-capable strategic peer adversaries at the same time,” Navy Adm. Charles A. Richard, said to Congress.
“Chinese and Russian advances are eroding our conventional deterrence,” the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said, The Defense Department website reported.
Regarding China, they are rapidly expanding their strategic capabilities and are on pace to double their nuclear weapons stockpile by the end of the decade, Richard said.
The admiral mentioned that Chinese ICBMs can be mounted on trucks so their location can be concealed. They also have modern, sixth generation nuclear-capable strategic bombers and submarines.
“China is capable of executing any plausible nuclear employment strategy regionally now and will soon be able to do so at intercontinental ranges,” the admiral said.
But, it said, Russia is the “pacing nuclear strategic threat,” as it continues to modernize both its nuclear and conventional capabilities.
“We’re at a point where end-of-life limitations and [the] cumulative effects of underinvestment in our nuclear deterrent and supporting infrastructure, against the expanding threat, leave me no operational margin. Our nation simply cannot attempt to indefinitely life-extend leftover Cold War weapon systems and successfully carry out the assigned strategy,” he said.
Army Gen. James H. Dickinson, the commander of U.S. Space Command, you know the thing Democrats and the media mocked Donald Trump for creating, said that China’s advances in space pose a significant threat.
“United States Space Command faces a unique dilemma in that we can’t plan for future conflicts based on how we fought previous conflicts even if we were inclined to do so. Rather, we are preparing for the war not yet fought,” he said in an opinion piece for The Hill before he testified before Congress.
“Why do we need to prepare for such a conflict when space has traditionally been a peaceful domain, open to all for exploration, and whose benefits improve the lives of virtually every human being on Earth? As I will soon testify to Congress, the answer is because highly capable competitors realize the extraordinary military and economic advantages that space-based capabilities give to the United States and our allies,” he said.
“These competitors are determined to deny our advantages in space in favor of their own. China’s space enterprise presents the pacing threat. China is building military space capabilities rapidly, including sensing and communication systems, and numerous anti-satellite weapons. Similarly, Russia’s military doctrine calls for employment of weapons to hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk. Russia has conducted numerous space-based anti-satellite weapons tests.
“Overlay this new strategic reality with the exponential growth in the commercialization of space, and it becomes clear that a once-peaceful operating environment is now competitive, congested and contested. Given our extraordinary reliance on space-based capabilities for virtually every aspect of the modern American and allied way of life — everything from mobile communications and internet connectivity to banking and finance, farming, entertainment and travel — we must protect and defend our interests in the space domain as we do in cyberspace, on land, in the air and at sea,” he said.
As Americans fight each other it is the foreign threats that remain the most dangerous.